Despite a nationwide pattern of persistently high mortgage rates and elevated home prices creating affordability hurdles for buyers, San Diego’s real estate market is riding high. According to February data from Redfin, median sale prices are up 10 percent, the volume of homes sold is up 11.7 percent and homes are going into contract two weeks faster than in February of last year.

Even so, there are opportunities to expedite the sale process — including sidestepping the market altogether to sell directly to a homebuying company. Here’s everything you need to know about selling your house fast in San Diego.

How fast can you sell your home in San Diego?

Pretty fast, actually! Conditions in San Diego already make for a speedy sale timeline: The median amount of time homes spent on the market in February was just 16 days, per Redfin. That’s 15 days faster than the same month last year, and it’s likely to keep shrinking as we enter spring and summer, traditionally the optimal times for selling a house. Homes also typically receive an average of five offers, Redfin says — a sign of a housing supply that fails to meet the robust demand from potential buyers.

Of course, 16 days is just the length of time from listing to going into contract. After that, sellers typically have to wait several more weeks, or more, for their buyer’s financing to be approved before they can actually close.

Need to sell even faster?

In a serious rush? If you need to relocate ASAP or just need the proceeds from your sale as fast as possible, there are ways to speed things up even more. Consider these time-efficient strategies:

  • Sell to a homebuying company: When time is of the essence, cash-homebuying companies and iBuyers provide a rapid solution, often making offers within 24 hours and closing the entire within two or three weeks (or sometimes even faster). These companies allow you to circumvent the traditional listing-with-an-agent process, and paying in cash eliminates the need to wait on financing. But there’s a price to pay for all this speed and convenience: They’ll almost certainly offer less money for the home than you’d make on the open market.
  • Sell as-is: If your home is in poor condition or is very dated, listing it as-is can save you time in prolonged negotiations over what needs fixing, and who will pay. This serves as a disclaimer, signifying to the buyer that they are acquiring the property in its current condition.
  • Enhance curb appeal: First impressions are everything, and elevating the exterior charm of your home can captivate prospective buyers and inspire them to act quickly. Quick, simple improvements like giving the front door a fresh coat of paint or adding some new flowers can go a long way.
  • Be flexible: Speeding up your sale might require making some seller concessions or pricing the property to move. Keep an open mind about what you might be willing to agree to in the name of speed.

Selling your home fast for fair market value

If you opt for the traditional selling method, it’s essential to engage an experienced real estate agent. Selling through an agent increases the likelihood of securing a sale at or near the peak of the market. Interview several candidates to find someone with extensive experience in your specific area of San Diego and a demonstrated track record of success with sellers — and someone who you trust to work diligently in your best interests.

Your agent will research the local market to give you a good idea of how much your home is worth under current conditions. Before listing your property, talk to him or her about these fundamental questions:

How should you price your listing?

Striking the right balance is crucial when it comes to asking price. Rely on your real estate agent for accurate pricing information, analyzing recent transactions and local comps to understand current buyer trends. To expedite a prompt sale, be prepared to establish an appropriate asking price based on local market conditions.

What should you fix before selling?

It’s probably smart to tackle noticeable issues, such as chipping paint, lifting floorboards or a leaking bathroom sink, to avoid deterring potential buyers. However, don’t spend time and money going overboard: Your agent can help you understand what doesn’t require fixing, as well as what does.

Is it worth upgrading before you sell?

While undertaking a major project, like a kitchen renovation, may seem promising for a substantial return, the reality is often different. Many renovations will fall short of recouping their costs upon resale. In addition, a significant construction venture often comes with significant delays, which will hold up your sale instead of expediting it.

Should you pay to stage your home?

Investing in home staging is like dressing up your property for a first date, in the hopes of making a positive impression. A cluttered kitchen and stacks of books everywhere can create the illusion of a smaller space and be a turn-off, while a well-staged home can capture buyers’ attention, potentially leading to a higher offered price. According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, 20 percent of sellers’ agents said that staging resulted in a 1 to 5 percent increase in the dollar value of a home, compared to similar unstaged homes.

What do you need to disclose to the buyer?

Most individuals selling a property in San Diego must complete the state of California’s property disclosure form. This entails providing information regarding any known defects that could affect the home’s value or safety, including issues such as prior roof damage, leaks, termite damage, electrical problems and more. Additionally, for properties that are part of a homeowners association, you’ll need to turn over financial and bylaw documents pertaining to the HOA.

Closing day

The closing marks the end of your home sale transaction — and the payment of closing costs, the expenses associated with a property sale.

As a seller, real estate commission fees are likely to be your largest cost. While the way commissions work will be changing this summer, for now, you are likely responsible for paying both your agent’s commission fee and your buyer’s agent’s fee. This typically totals around 5 or 6 percent of a home’s sale price — a significant expense in a market like San Diego, where the median sale price in February was $940,000. Five percent of that amount is $47,000.

Here are some of the other common closing costs for sellers:

  • Title insurance: Here’s a positive note: In California, it’s customary for the buyer to cover the expenses associated with title insurance. So, unlike sellers in many other states, you probably won’t have to pay for title-related costs.
  • Transfer taxes: San Diego County charges a tax for transferring property ownership to a new owner. The rate is $1.10 for every $1,000 in value — so, on a median-priced $940,000 home, that would be $940.
  • Attorney fees: Although not obligatory in California, retaining a lawyer is smart to protect your interests when selling a house. The fee will depend on your lawyer’s hourly rate and the time required to complete the transaction.
  • Seller concessions: Homebuyers often ask for the seller to cover certain costs, such as the amount needed to make a necessary repair. While you are not obligated to agree, seller concessions are a normal part of the negotiation process.


  • The fastest method will be selling directly to a local cash-homebuying company or an iBuyer (Opendoor, one of the biggest, buys homes in the area). These companies facilitate a quick cash transaction, typically making offers within 24 hours and closing within a few weeks. However, this convenience may result in a lower selling price compared to a traditional sale.
  • Yes — an experienced agent familiar with your local market can provide a competitive edge. Their expertise in preparing, pricing and marketing your home can attract more buyers, potentially leading to a faster sale. But even if you find a buyer immediately, you’ll likely still have to wait for their financing to be approved.
  • Yes, the San Diego housing market is hot. According to Redfin data from February, the median sale price is a high $940,000 and rising, up 10 percent since last year, and homes receive an average of five offers. Nearly half of homes that sold — 48.2 percent — went for above their list price.